The Adoption Process
Find out more about the process to adopt a child in Moray:
This information provides guidance on the expectations we have of adopters:
Age: Prospective adopters must be over 23. We don’t set an upper age limit but would seek to balance your age with the need to provide a lifelong home to a child.
Status: You can apply if you are a married couple, civil partners, unmarried couple, lesbian couple or gay couple. It is important that you are in an enduring relationship and have lived together for at least 3 years. We also welcome applications from single people.
Fertility treatment: A period of at least a year should have passed before any application to adopt is made.
Health: We will take into consideration any physical or mental health issues that may impact on your ability to care for a child.
Smoking: We don’t place children under two with adopters who smoke.
Applicants with children: We are open to applications from parents who already have children.
Income: There is no minimum income required to adopt, however there is an expectation that adopters can make material provision for a child into adulthood. Being a homeowner is not a requirement.
Experience with children: This helpful but not essential. More importantly adopters need to understand that for many children there will be a level of developmental uncertainty due to early experiences. For some children the effect of these experiences may be lifelong.
The adoption process always starts with a telephone discussion. This helps give us an understanding of your expectations from the process and for us to answer any initial questions you might have.
The purpose of a home visit is to explore whether adoption is right for you and your family. We’ll look carefully at your circumstances and experience to see what you can offer a child as adoptive parents. We will always try and match the needs of the child with the needs of the adopter.
You will be required to attend an adoption preparation course before you make your application. The course gives you additional information and insight into adoption and the opportunity to meet experienced adopters.
Following the preparation course, if you still wish to become an adopter and we agree it is appropriate for you to proceed then you will be asked to complete an application form. When adopting with us, we will cover the costs related to the assessment process.
The assessment will give us an understanding of your background and motivation as well as your ability to keep a child safe, help them thrive and commit to them for life. We will request references and undertake a number of checks. This will conducted by a member of our team.
We prioritise assessments based on the needs of children waiting for families.
Once your application has been approved, we will consider your details in relation to children whose needs you could meet.
The process if a potential match is proposed is:
- Discuss the details with you.
- On agreement, all information about the child/children will be shared.
- You will meet the child/children’s social worker.
- If all parties believe that the match is positive then it will be put to the Matching Panel.
- The panel will consider our proposals and make a recommendation to the agency decision maker.
- On approval, you will be introduced to the child/children.
- A date will be agreed for the child/children to move into your home.
- It takes at least 13 weeks for the application to adopt to be heard after placement.
- A growing number of children who are placed for adoption maintain some form of contact with their birth family. This is often an annual letter exchange, sometimes with photographs. We always coordinate this to protect privacy.
We are here to support the child/children, adoptive parents and birth relatives throughout the adoption process and after adoption has taken place. This will be discussed at the time of matching.
All parties have the right to ask for an assessment based on the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007.
Fostering & Adoption Team
PO Box 6770